Note: the structure of this psalm has been widely debated. This proposal is based on the general sense and flow of thought and divides the psalm into two main parts. The first has an ABA’B’ pattern, and the second an ABC D A’B’C’ pattern.
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.
A. The cry of a drowning man
1 Save me, O God;
for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing:
I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried:
mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:
they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:
then I restored that which I took not away.
5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness;
and my sins are not hid from thee.
6 Let not them that wait on thee, O LORD God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:
let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach;
shame hath covered my face.
8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren,
and an alien unto my mother’s children.
9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up;
and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting,
that was to my reproach.
11 I made sackcloth also my garment;
and I became a proverb to them.
12 They that sit in the gate speak against me;
and I was the song of the drunkards.
A’. The cry of a drowning man
13 But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD,
in an acceptable time:
O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me,
in the truth of thy salvation.
14 Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink:
let me be delivered from them that hate me,
and out of the deep waters.
15 Let not the waterflood overflow me,
neither let the deep swallow me up,
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16 Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good:
turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17 And hide not thy face from thy servant;
for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18 Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it:
deliver me because of mine enemies.
19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour:
mine adversaries are all before thee.
20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness:
and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none;
and for comforters, but I found none.
21 They gave me also gall for my meat;
and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22 Let their table become a snare before them:
and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not;
and make their loins continually to shake.
24 Pour out thine indignation upon them,
and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25 Let their habitation be desolate;
and let none dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten;
and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27 Add iniquity unto their iniquity:
and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living,
29 But I am poor and sorrowful:
let thy salvation , O God, set me up on high.
Praise for salvation
A. 30 I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
B. 31 This also shall please the LORD better than an ox
or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
C. 32 The humble shall see this, and be glad:
and your heart shall live that seek God.
D. 33 For the LORD heareth the poor,
and despiseth not his prisoners.
A’. 34 Let the heaven and earth praise him,
the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
B’. 35 For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah:
that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
C’. 36 The seed also of his servants shall inherit it:
and they that love his name shall dwell therein.